What Does a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Do?

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How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help With My Case?

Choosing a Philadelphia car accident attorney is a decision not to be taken lightly. Car accidents can lead to serious injuries, which can have a lifelong impact. Those who have traffic accidents know that in many cases, a great deal of physical, emotional, and psychological healing is necessary. If you’ve just emerged from a traumatic situation like a car accident, you want to make sure that the person fighting on your behalf and protecting your rights is the right fit for you.

But where to begin when looking for an attorney after a serious car accident? Many people have never had the need to work with a personal injury lawyer before, and the process of finding one — and understanding why you need one — can feel overwhelming. Some folks may consider trying to navigate the legal components of their car accident without professional help, concerned that working with car accident lawyers will only add unnecessary costs and make things more complicated.

These are understandable concerns. But if you or a loved one has experienced a car accident in Philadelphia, and are unsure how to pick a car accident attorney — or whether to work with one at all — it can be helpful to start by understanding what exactly an automobile accident lawyer can do for you and your car accident case. Whether you’ve experienced a serious injury or something more minor from your auto accident, you deserve justice and compensation. Below, you’ll find detailed explanations of all the ways in which a car accident lawyer can help you handle your personal injury claim. And if you still have questions, remember, you can reach out to Munley Law at any time for a free consultation about your Philadelphia car accident. We’re here for you, and we’re ready and waiting to take your call.

$32 Million Wrongful Death

$26 Million Truck Accident

$17.5 Million Car Accident

$12 Million Product liability

$8 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident/Wrongful Death

$7.5 Million Auto Accident

$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Crash

$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury

$5 Million Medical Malpractice

$5 Million Bus Accident

$4.7 Million Truck Accident

What Can a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Do for Me?

Attorney Chris Munley speaking to attorneysIt’s no surprise that car accidents are a reality of the road, but you may be startled by just how often car accidents happen. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in 2021, there were approximately eight injuries from reportable traffic accidents every hour. This means that 1 in 50 people throughout the state was injured in a car accident that year. What’s more, cases of wrongful death occur at a devastating frequency. In 2021, PennDOT reported that “each day 3 persons were fatally injured in reportable traffic crashes”. More than 300 of these fatal car accidents resulted from an alcohol-related accident.

Injured car accident victims are in an extremely vulnerable state, and the idea of entering into a lawsuit can seem daunting and complex. Part of a car accident attorney’s job is to make sure you have a solid understanding of the legal system you’re participating in, as well as your rights within that system. Your car accident lawyers become your point people as you move through your accident claim: any question that arises, anything you need help with, any part of the process that seems confusing, your Philadelphia car accident attorney is there to help.

Some components of the legal system your Philadelphia car accident lawyer can help you understand include:

How State and Local Laws Impact Your Car Accident Claim

Attorney John Mulcahey working at his deskEvery state has different laws when it comes to car accidents, and an experienced car accident attorney will walk you through exactly how to approach the case in your specific state. For instance, the regulations around car insurance in a particular state can impact your claim after a car accident. In Pennsylvania, drivers are offered the choice of two kinds of insurance coverage by their insurance company: limited tort and full tort.

The kind of insurance coverage both you and the other drivers involved in the accident hold impacts your ability to collect damages after a motor vehicle accident. For example, drivers with full tort coverage can sue for both economic and non-economic damages (more on the difference between those below), while drivers with limited tort coverage can only sue for economic losses.

Your car accident attorney will take all this into account when determining the best path forward in your personal injury lawsuit.

Liability for the Philadelphia Car Accident

One element of car accident cases that can feel confusing is determining who exactly is liable, or at fault for, the accident. Sometimes, the answer is fairly cut and dry: one driver was rightfully passing through an intersection, and a drunk driver barreled through without the right of way, causing a car crash. But there are also cases where the question of liability is more complex, and your attorney can help you understand how to parse it out.

In some cases, the accident may be caused by driver negligence; this could be the case if the other driver was exhibiting signs of distracted driving or drunk driving, or driving recklessly. However, it’s also possible for other parties to be at fault as well. For instance, if one of the vehicles involved in the car crash is a commercial truck, the trucking company could be at fault. If a car crash is caused by vehicle failure or malfunction, the automobile manufacturer could be at fault.

Attorney Melinda Ghiardi working at her deskAdditionally, it’s possible for more than one party to share varying degrees of fault for a single car accident. There are even motor vehicle crashes where the injured driver may bear some degree of fault for the accident. For instance, perhaps a car accident occurs because one driver illegally blasts through a stop sign, but the driver who has the right of way is texting, so fails to react and stop in time to prevent a collision. In this case, it’s possible that a court would determine both parties are partially at fault for the car accident.

Car accidents happen for all sorts of reasons, and your Philadelphia car accident attorneys will work hard to help you understand your case, and ensure that you’re not improperly assigned fault.

There are a few steps to establishing driver negligence and showing that you are deserving of collecting damages from another party. Your Philadelphia car accident attorney will walk you through this process of every step of the way, making sure you meet the following criteria for a successful personal injury claim:

  • You Were Owed a Duty of Care: All drivers owe other drivers a duty of care; drivers are expected to make safe and reasonable decisions at all times while on the road, refraining from anything that could endanger themselves or others.
  • That Duty of Care Was Breached: This is where you would show your evidence of driver negligence. Perhaps the other driver involved in the accident was intoxicated, distracted, driving recklessly, or breaking laws. Any of these would constitute as a breach of that duty of care.
  • That Breach Directly Resulted in Financial Damages: The final component of an accident claim is to show that the fact that the other driver breached their duty of care directly resulted in financial loss for you. You may show that their breach of care resulted in the accident, and the accident caused you to spend X amount on medical and hospital bills. You could also show that the accident prevented you from going to work, resulting in a loss of income.

Be Your Main Point of Contact

When a car accident occurs, there are a lot of parties involved. There are the drivers, and anyone else who was involved directly in the accident. There are the insurance companies. There are the legal teams. This is a lot of players to keep track of, and one key role your Philadelphia car accident lawyer can play after your motor vehicle accident is to liaise among all of them.

If you were injured in a car accident, it’s possible that as soon as the next day, you may start receiving calls from the car insurance company and their insurance adjusters. But it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, insurance companies are for-profit entities, and the singular goal of an insurance adjuster will always be to make money for their insurance company. They may even twist your words to use against you — if the adjuster asks how you are and you say, “I’m fine,” the insurance company could use that as evidence that you’re not severely injured.

When you work with a lawyer on your car accident claim, you never have to worry about your words being misconstrued or used against you, because your lawyer will be the one handling all contact. Once you hire a lawyer, you can refer all parties to them. This ensures that you’ll never get tripped up or have your words twisted. Your accident lawyer will be the frontline for you after your car accident.

Guide You on Making the Best Decisions

Caroline Munley speaking with paralegal in her officeIn a car accident case, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made and questions that need to be answered. Are you going to sue? What kind of a car accident settlement will you accept? Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers can help you answer these and more, ensuring you’re always making the decision that puts your best interest first.

When you work with an attorney from our Philadelphia law firm, you can rest easy knowing that you’re in good hands. We treat our clients like family, and will never make decisions about your case without consulting with you in depth.

Work With the Insurance Company

With most car accident cases, the first source of potential compensation comes from the insurance company. A car accident lawsuit then occurs when insurance is not sufficient to provide fair compensation for your car accident injuries. However, working with insurance adjusters to ensure you’re getting a fair deal can be an ongoing process. Your insurance company may attempt to avoid payment by overvaluing your fault in the case, or may attempt to shortchange you in other ways. If you’re an auto accident victim, the last thing you want to worry about is haggling with insurance adjusters. Your car accident lawyer will work with your insurance company on your behalf so you don’t have to worry.

Investigate the Case to the Fullest

In order for any personal injury case to be successful, you need a great deal of evidence in order to establish that you’re deserving of compensation.

If you experience a motor vehicle accident, it’s always wise to collect some of your own evidence in the immediate aftermath. You can take pictures of the vehicles and the surrounding area, speak to witnesses, and call the police so that they can write up a police report, which can be useful later on. However, your lawyer will dig far deeper, investigating the case and accumulating evidence that can help make your car accident claim is successful. This can include things like hiring a private investigator, speaking to additional witnesses, accessing CCTV footage of the accident, and more. Philadelphia car accidents lawyers may also work directly with the police in order to get a more full grasp of how the accident unfolded.

In some cases, there is evidence that would be extremely difficult to obtain without the aid of auto accident attorneys. In car crashes that involve a commercial truck, one key piece of evidence is the truck’s black box, which often contains crucial information about the car accident. However, some truck black boxes record over themselves every few days, making it imperative to work with a lawyer that can act quickly and efficiently. Your car accidents lawyer may also gain access to the history and records of the other driver. Do they have any DUIs? Do they have a history of reckless driving? All of this can be useful in building and strengthening car accident claims.

Determine the Value of Your Car Accident Claim

One of the key steps in a car accident case is determining the case’s value. The aftermath of a car accident can cause not only physical pain, but also great financial stress. Auto accidents often result in serious injury, and unfortunately, car accident fatalities do occur as well. Medical expenses can quickly pile up for the families of injured car accident victims.

The good news is, you have the right to seek compensation, but only once you know how much the case is worth can you begin the process of negotiating a settlement. Part of the job of a Philadelphia car accident lawyer is to accurately determine just how much your case is worth, which can be an arduous process. The car accident attorneys at Munley Law can walk you through exactly what kind of damages you may be eligible for in your car accident case.

In a personal injury lawsuit, there are two kinds of damages that determine the worth of the case: economic damages and non-economic damages. All of these damages will be totaled together in order to get a sense of the value of your Philadelphia car accident claim.

Economic damages are those that have an innate monetary value, which can be totaled and considered when determining your cases’s value. For instance, when looking at a victim’s medical records for treatment after the car accident, it’s fairly clear to see that the accident directly led to financial loss via medical expenses. Things that may contribute to economic damages include:

  • Medical bills and the costs of medical treatment
  • Ongoing treatment for physical pain, via rehabilitation or medication
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lowered earning capacity
  • And more

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are those that are not affixed to a specific monetary value. The impacts of most car accidents go far beyond the physical and the concrete — injured car accident victims can suffer emotionally, and psychologically. They can struggle to enjoy their life in the ways they once did. Non economic damages attempt to compensate for these elements, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • PTSD
  • And more
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Your lawyer will assess your car accident case in great detail, using all of the above, and come up with a settlement number that fairly compensates you for everything you’ve been through. Your lawyer will fight tirelessly to secure you maximum compensation.

Negotiate on Your Behalf

two cars get into an accident in wilkes-barreSome good news: the vast majority of cases that involve car accidents will settle out of court, meaning a trial is not necessary. However, for this to occur, it means both sides have to agree on a settlement figure. This can be a complex process that involves a lot of pushback on both sides, so it’s important to work and a car accident lawyer. Your Philadelphia car accident lawyer will present a number to the other driver and their legal team; in the best case, that initial offer will be accepted, but most likely, the other side will counter with their own offer. Working with a car accident lawyer ensures you don’t undervalue your own case and accept an offer that’s far below what you deserve. Your car accident lawyer will walk the tightrope of pushing back against lowball offers, while still keeping the dialogue open and making sure you walk away with a satisfactory settlement.

Represent You in Court

It’s important to note that while most car accident cases do settle out of court, going to trial is always a possibility. If reaching a settlement becomes impossible, one of the things Philadelphia car accident lawyers can do is continue to protect your interests by representing you in court.

Some personal injury lawyers are only experienced in negotiation, and have little experience with going to trial. This means that if you were to go to trial, your accident lawyer could fob you off on another attorney, despite having spent weeks or months building a relationship with you. The good news is that this will never happen when you work with one of the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Munley Law. All of our attorneys are expert negotiators, but also have extensive hands-on experience working in the courtroom. We will fight hard to secure you a settlement, but we can also protect you in a trial if needed.

Why Choose a Car Accident Lawyer at Munley Law?

Attorneys Marion Munley, Caroline Munley, Robert Munley, and Chris MunleyWe know we’re not the only personal injury law firm in the Philadelphia area, and you have plenty of options when it comes to picking car accident lawyers. But you don’t to take our word for why Munley Law is the right pick — our track record speaks for itself. Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience defending the rights of car accident victims.

Car accidents are a brutal experience, and if you or a loved one has had to endure that, you have our most sincere sympathies. The last thing anyone wants to worry about after something so traumatic is navigating the ins and outs of the complex legal system. When you work with Munley, we can take on the legal heavy lifting so that you can focus on recovery and getting back to doing the things you love.

At our law firm, each of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers has over a decade of experience, as well as hands-on trial and courtroom experience.  And with Munley, you never have to worry about unexpected fees or mounting legal bills. At our personal injury law firm, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t make a dime unless you win.

If you are seeking legal representation, or simply want a free case evaluation, please reach out to a Philadelphia car accident attorney here at Munley Law. We can provide you with an experienced auto accident attorney who will be by your side every step of the way, fighting to protect your rights and advocating for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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